Nov 24, 2014 11:45 PM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

Thanksgiving. It’s a time for family and friends to gather and give thanks. And for most, it’s a day of overindulgence. “You can enjoy all your favorite foods, but moderation is key,” says Anna Ibele, MD, a bariatric surgeon at University of Utah Health. Here, she shares some tricks that will help you enjoy the day without gaining weight.

thanksgiving nutrition family health

Thinner Thanksgiving

Eat (don't drink) your calories

At 200 to 350 calories per drink, eggnog, hot chocolate and alcohol quickly add up. "A refreshing low-calorie alternative perfect for the season is seltzer with a splash of fresh cranberry juice," Ibele suggests.

Eat before the feast

It might be tempting to starve yourself before Thanksgiving dinner, but that approach usually backfires. "Eating a healthy breakfast helps speeds your metabolism. A lunch high in protein and fiber keeps you full, so you’ll eat fewer calories snacking and during dinner," Ibele says.

Chew slowly

Enjoy the dinner conversation, and chew your food slowly. It not only helps your body digest food, but you’ll eat less food.

Start a new (active) tradition

Participate in a Turkey Trot walk or run on Thanksgiving morning, organize a Turkey Bowl (an informal football game), or bundle up and go on a nice, long walk after dinner. Start a tradition that burns calories and keeps you from succumbing to the post-turkey slump.

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